Because Childhood Lasts a Lifetime.

FrameWorks Institute: Talking About Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention

Welcome to Talking About Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, a compendium of research and resources on how Americans think about child development and how to increase public support for policies that support prevention and intervention policies that reduce child abuse and neglect.

Commissioned by Prevent Child Abuse America, with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, this toolkit presents findings from the FrameWorks Institute’s research on how Americans view child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment in general, as well their reactions to specific reforms and arguments that child policy advocates have advanced in an effort to move beyond public acceptance of tertiary efforts to public prioritization of primary prevention policies. In addition to original research conducted for this project, this report is also informed by several years of investigation by the FrameWorks Institute on early child development and children’s issues funded by the A. L. Mailman Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child at Brandeis University.

What’s Included?

Inside this toolkit you will find applications materials, based on the research findings, that can help engage the public in understanding early child development as it applies to child abuse and neglect prevention, understanding potential policy directions, supporting solutions to pressing problems, and improving how others are talking about child abuse and neglect. This toolkit is divided into three sections: the message memos, research reports, and applications.

Message Memos


Research Reports



This section provides a variety of framing tools intended to help advocates apply the framing research on preventing child abuse and neglect to daily practice.

  • Elements of the Core Story
    This tool offers an outline of the “core story to tell,” the key frame elements for communications that seek to promote child abuse and neglect prevention policies.
  • Talking Points
    The talking points are intended to be used in preparation for media interviews, editorial board visits, or other public communications as a reminder of the core elements of the child development frame.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    A series of questions that advocates tell us they must often answer. Examples of effective and less-effective responses to each question are included.
  • Sample Editorial
    This is an example of how to apply the framing strategies on child abuse and neglect prevention to the format of a guest editorial in a newspaper.
  • Sample Letters to the Editor
    Three sample templates for applying framing strategies to a Letter to the Editor format.
  • Child Abuse Prevention Framing Case Study Examples: Case 1, Case 2
    Two case studies from child abuse prevention advocates examining communications materials both before and after implementing framing recommendations.

The Talking About Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention toolkit was created with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation



Related Resources

Go to Top